Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi was published by Pantheon in 2003 in Paris, France. Persepolis is a painstakingly true novel of an Iranian girl living during the repercussions of the Islamic revolution. Marjane Satrapi tells the audience about her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen through a creative perspective. She lets the reader interpret for themselves the emotional and physical toll of this revolution through a completely black and white comic strip. She also speaks of the horrors of the war with Iraq and the Shah’s regime during the time.
Overall this novel was okay. I was not dying to know what was going to happen nor was I completely falling off my seat like OMG! It was interesting to see so much history combined into one memoir. The most interesting thing had to be the comic strip! What better way to portray true emotion then having the reader interpret it for them selves? As many before me have pointed out; a picture is worth a thousand words and I truly believe that. Every one reading this novel is reading the same book and looking at the same images but everyone interprets them differently. Sometimes difficult situations are too hard to put into words and only pictures can carry the true message.
Many people have a perceived image of what a memoir is, looks like and how interesting it is. Satrapi’s use of images goes against what I thought memoirs looked like. Unfortunately her novel did not contradict me in my opinions on memoirs. In lack of a better term and quite bluntly, I think memoirs are straight out boring. To all of you out there who love memoirs, you do you. I think that this memoir, for me, was as interesting as it could get.
All though the characters in the novel all live through more or less the same things, they each have distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from one another. Marjane, the author as well as the main character, is a very strong headed girl but she struggles with what she believes in and what society wants from her. Throughout her journey, she seems at war with herself. I think the characters are very easy to connect and I enjoyed how they were depicted within this memoir.
Some of the more prominent themes were war and oppression. Throughout the novel, Marjane must come to terms that this is her life now. The amount of oppression she must face and deal with changes her and her beliefs. In the beginning of the memoir, Marjane strongly believed in god but as time went by, she starts to drift away from her prior beliefs because of all she has been through. These things not only change Marjane but the wide majority of characters.
This memoir clearly depicts the horrors of the repercussions of the Islamic revolution. Marjane’s journey was long and included many hardships she had to overcome. Contrary to written out books, Marjane’s story was conveyed through a comic strip. This put a twist on memoirs and the way you read them. I would give this memoir three stars. It was okay but was not my favorite. If you enjoy non fiction books with an interesting twist, then this novel is definitely for you!
Happy Reading! 🙂